Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/80

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65
IN SOUTH AFRICA

England a highly-coloured summary of Mr. Gandhi's address. This was the message sent: "September 14. A pamphlet published in India declares that the Indians in Natal are robbed and assaulted, and treated like beasts, and are unable to obtain redress. The "Times of India" advocates an enquiry into these allegations." There was some truth in this summary, but it was not all the truth, and

"A lie which is half the truth is ever the blackest of lies."

Reuter had generalised from statements of particular cases, isolated instances mentioned by Mr. Gandhi had been made to appear the common lot of Indians in Natal, and the speaker, rabid agitator, who was a menace to the Empire. I have the address before me as it was circulated in great numbers in India, and fail to find the note of the "irresponsible agitator" in it. Its language is clear, forcible, and calm, while every statement can be borne out. If facts about the Colonies may not be told in India without awakening shame and anger, it is time indeed that those facts should be changed. The Colony was to blame for burdening Mr. Gandhi with such a story.

When the cablegram was transmitted to South